Libyan students get helping hand from Ohio universities

Wright State University and the University of Dayton, both located in Dayton, Ohio, recently joined together to assist Libyan students who are struggling to pay tuition and expenses due to the ongoing civil strife in their home country.

"You have to pay your rent on time; you have to pay your utilities on time; your gas, food, everything," said Najib Tabal, a graduate student at Wright State. "You cannot say, 'I’m going to receive my money in three months, so give me and I will pay you back.' No one will accept that.”

Libyan students are allowed to study in the United States but not work off campus or stay in the country if they become part-time students. Due to the Libyan government’s inability to provide state-funded scholarships and living allowances, many students were struggling before the institutions’ decision to help ensure that they could still register for classes.

"Students were desperate," Michelle Streeter-Ferrari, director of international education at Wright State, said. "It came down to a crisis in February, when money was really not coming through… ."

Streeter-Ferrari said the students took it upon themselves to find a way to continue their educations.

"The Libyan students tend to do very well, and so I have to say, some of the credit has to go to them in terms of really pursuing their education and being vocal and coming together and trying to figure out the problem with us," she said.

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